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December 16, 2010

Cost savings primary cause for embracing cloud thinking: CA Technologies

Security is the primary concern for embracing cloud, followed by poor service quality

By CBR Staff Writer

Enterprises are active in the cloud, and their virtualisation efforts are contributing to broader interest in cloud computing, with a shift toward approaching IT using "cloud thinking", according to new study from CA Technologies.

The study, which included survey of IT professionals in organisations with 1,000 to 10,000-plus employees by Management Insight, said ‘cloud thinking’ will accelerate the uses of cloud computing and helping to align IT decision makers and implementers around common goals of efficiency, flexibility and scalability.

More than 80% of enterprises and 92% of the largest enterprises have at least one cloud service, while 53% of IT implementers indicate having more than six cloud services, the report said.

The primary incentives for organisations exploring the cloud are to save money (44%) and gain greater cost control (35%). IT staff are incentivised by increasing efficiency (35%) and a desire to work with the latest technologies (34%).

Executives are primarily concerned about security (68%) and poor service quality (40%), while roughly half of all respondents consider risk of job loss and loss of control as top deterrents.

Virtualisation-intensive organisations are four times more likely to move as many services as possible to both public and private clouds, the study added.

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Collaboration tools lead cloud deployments at 75%, with hosted email, antivirus/spam filters and Web conferencing noted as the most common applications being deployed in the cloud by large enterprises.

Infrastructure and development platforms in the cloud (Infrastructure- and Platform-as-a-Service) appear to be poised for growth with 58% of large organisations already using these services, and 43% considering them.

CA Technologies general manager of cloud computing business Adam Famularo said this study confirms that large enterprises are exploring the benefits of the cloud, and are looking to expand from basic services like collaboration to more complex Infrastructure and Platform cloud services.

"With this shift comes a growing need for sophisticated management and security, allowing enterprises to change how they think about IT to reap the full rewards that cloud computing offers – agility, efficiency and scalability," Famularo said.

On average, roughly one-third of x86 servers are virtualised within the enterprise today, while nearly half of these companies (46%) indicate a "managed" stage of virtualisation, with the ability to move to virtual machines and manage them for high availability.

Email leads in the managed stage (53%); desktop virtualisation and databases peak during the advanced stage (30%); and industry-specific applications top all others in the cloud-like stage (32%).

In addition, respondents indicate plans to continue to move mission-critical applications from non-virtualised infrastructure to virtual machines over the next couple of years.

Enterprises are running nearly half (47%) of these applications on non-virtualised infrastructure today, which will drop by 17% in the next two years. Of that 17%, 10% will shift to public and private clouds.

Virtualisation-intensive organisations are roughly four times more likely to move as many services as possible into both public and private clouds.

When asked to share their viewpoints on drivers and barriers to the adoption of public and private clouds, respondents cite cost as a driver and barrier, suggesting the true impact and relevance of "cost savings" is still unresolved.

Drivers of public cloud adoption also cite resource efficiencies, flexibility and servicing global users as key drivers. Deterrents include security, compliance, internal resistance and the perception that public clouds are not suitable for some business applications.

Overall, the study confirms large organisations are embracing both public and private clouds, and enterprises are already active in cloud computing.

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